An often overlooked but very useful self-defense tool

The good, old-fashioned police truncheon (often called a baton, nightstick or billy club in the USA) was no slouch at quieting restless individuals.  It has a rich and storied history, sometimes favorable, sometimes notorious, usually depending on which side of the truncheon the historian was standing at the time.

The Truth About Knives has brought us a couple of historic videos of how to use this implement.  Recommended viewing.

I have one handy near the front door, just in case of need.  Oh – you ask where you can get them?  Modern substitutes are freely available at low cost, both online and in auto parts stores.  Useful, that.  They’re often not legal to carry outside your home, so check your local laws and regulations.  I have one in my vehicle, too – to check my tires, of course.  After all, that’s its purpose.  It says so, right there on the shaft!



  1. I don't think I've heard of a "tire knocker", but my socket set includes at least one 1/2" breaker bar, and there's a nice adjustable torque wrench about somewhere. For the tires, sure. 70 lbs ft.

  2. A length of lexan rod, about an inch to inch and a quarter, between 24 and 32" long, will work wonders, and also doesn't look like a potential weapon.

    Shorter lengths (more towards 24" or so) work better in tight quarters, like in a room, while the longer lengths work better in wide, open spaces.

  3. Peter,

    At the high school I went to, the custodian was an ex-Glasgow cop, and he still carried his nightstick, and one of the football team asked him how he'd handle 4 big guys (he was maybe 5'7" and 150 lbs). He showed us. We were probably over 1000 pounds of linemen, and he handled us easily; we were in pads so it didn't hurt us.

    He also had a Glasgow accent that made Scotty sound like an Oxford don. Watching him telling our two very Southern maids what he wanted done was absolutely hilarious.

  4. Peter, a tire knocker is typically used for high pressure truck tires (100psi/+-).
    You have been whacking your tires on occasion, to properly mark them as used for such, yes? Can you tell by sound if a tire is low?

  5. BTW, the traditional mark of a police nightstick was the wrist cord and the hole for attaching it. A nightstick is normally illegal. I would remove any strap/cord, and perhaps cut off the section that has the hole. You really don't want to give a cop an excuse to bust you for possession of an illegal weapon. BTDT

  6. 36 in x 1 in dowel rod for a home project, still has tag on it rides in my truck, for that very reason. Tire knocker serves no legit purpose for car tires. Piece of pipe for lug wrench is another matter.

  7. My dad has a surplus US Army MP baton in his truck as a 'tire checker'. Fortunately he's never had to utilize it for any purpose. At home I have a PR-24X expandable side-handle baton I keep handy by my desk in the office/den in the event I cannot get to my pistol right away.

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